KI Practitioner Fellow Netsy Firestein Honored by White House as Champion of Change

Posted in Practitioner Fellows


On Thursday, April 16, 2015, President Obama honored “Champions of Change” at the White House who support working families and have helped to bring about change within their companies, communities or organizations by advocating for commonsense paid sick and paid leave policies, equal pay and an end to pregnancy discrimination to support our families, our businesses, and our economy.

Among those honored was Netsy Firestein, a 2011 Kalmanovitz Initiative Practitioner Fellow who is currently the Senior Fellow at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UC Berkeley. Netsy used her 2011 fellowship to explore what it would take to make the issue of paid family and medical leave a high priority for federal and state policy makers.

She researched successful national campaigns on disability rights, early childhood education, and LGBT equality to understand the innovative, key strategies that propelled them to victory. Her research resulted in presentations at the AFL-CIO and Columbia University and helped lay the foundation for new paid family and medical leave strategies at the national level.

As founder and Director of the Labor Project for Working Families, Netsy led the coalition that passed paid family leave in California, which covers almost every worker in the state. Subsequently, she worked to build awareness and expand the new law. Netsy also co-founded Family Values @ Work, a network of 21 states working to build a movement for family friendly workplace policies such as family leave insurance and paid sick days.

The Kalmanovitz Initiative congratulates Netsy on recognition for her extraordinary work! Read more about Netsy’s work during her time at the Kalmanovitz Initative.